With more and more companies drawing curtains and halting operations, the startup bubble in India seems to be nearing its burst. Though it a good decision to call off operations if there isn’t a market for your product or if you aren’t able to create one, sometimes it pays off to hang on for the longest time.
As the famous American writer and Nobel Prize Laureate William Faulkner rightly said,“Success seems to be largely a matter of hanging on after others have let go“.
True to these words, here are 5 companies that scripted fairytale comebacks by taking drastic measures and hanging on a little longer.
The World’s largest Information Technology company was on the verge of shutdown in the late 90s before making an incredible comeback.
Following the firing of Co-founder Steve Jobs in 1985, Apple went through a tumultuous 12 years which saw the company inch towards bankruptcy. When Jobs was hired back in 1997, he struck an eventful partnership with Microsoft for investing $120 million into Apple. The investment paid off and Apple rose to the tech giant that we know today.
In 2008, after prolonged months of failing to raise any money, Evernote’s CEO Phil Libin decided to shut down the company and lay off his employees. Before going to bed at 3 am, he checked his emails one last time. It was then he noticed a mail from one of Evernote’s delighted users.
The user was a man from Sweden who expressed his interest in investing in the company. Soon, a wire transfer for $500,000 was made and Evernote managed to stay afloat. The company is now valued at over $1 billion.
3. Tesla and SpaceX
The two most ambitious projects of Elon Musk – Tesla and SpaceX were on close to being shut down during the 2008 American recession. The Canadian-American business magnate was left with a choice of choosing one company over the other after funds ran out. This was when he made some desperate yet clever decisions to keep both companies alive.
Musk won a $1.6 billion contract for SpaceX with NASA. He then took out $20 million from SpaceX, bluffed to investors and raised another $20 million that was pumped into Tesla. This was how both the companies managed to survive, hours before they would have gone bankrupt. Today, Tesla is valued at over $6 billion and SpaceX at over $10 billion.
Founded by Martin Goodman in 1939, Marvel was a creative powerhouse churning out comic books for kids and teenagers through decades. However, not everything was shiny for Marvel which ran into rough water in 1993.
When the comic market bubble burst, the leadership at Marvel could not decide on what to do next. After a downward spiral for three years, Marvel applied for bankruptcy in 1996. However, the shift in focus to films helped Marvel release movies like X-Men, Spiderman, The Avengers and Thor which made the company bounce back big time. Marvel is now owned by Disney which bought the company for $4.3 billion in 2009.
In the early 1990s, IBM – an American Information Technology major was planning to break itself into smaller separate units in order to survive. This was when Louis V. Gerstner Jr. took charge of the organization and started one of the biggest turnarounds in tech companies’ history.
The former CEO ordered massive layoffs and raised cash by selling assets. Gerstner then halted the breakup plan and united everyone under one IBM. The move worked and IBM came back from big losses to register profits within one year.
These incredible comebacks highlight the fact that a staunch belief in your product/service along with the will to persist for the longest period of time can reap huge rewards 😎